LUMBERYARDS

Credit crunch and foreclosure rate limit builders

BY Ken Clark

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) weighed in on the disappointing housing starts figures released Tuesday.

Nationwide housing starts declined 5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 units in August.

"At this point, most builders are only looking to replenish their depleted inventories of new homes for sale, but otherwise holding off on new projects," said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. "While we would like to get more crews back on the job, we need to see solid improvement in consumer demand, greater access to credit for both builders and buyers, and a reduction in the number of foreclosed properties on the market before we can ramp up new production."

"Today’s numbers are completely consistent with NAHB’s forecast for the quarter, and are in keeping with the anemic economic and job growth we are seeing across most of the country," said NAHB senior economist Robert Denk. "That said, we continue to anticipate modest gains in new-home production through the end of this year with greater momentum building into 2013, and some pockets of improvement are already evident in about a dozen metros nationwide."

The decline in starts was primarily on the more volatile multi-family side, with single-family housing production edging down just 1.4%. Meanwhile, permits for new construction posted modest gains in both sectors.

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Jilted lottery player gets new roof

BY Brae Canlen

A California woman who thought she won the state’s $54 million lottery — and then discovered the local newspaper had printed the wrong winning numbers — is getting a new roof compliments of ABC Supply and Allstate Roofing. 

According to an article printed in the Fresno Bee, Elida Betancourt, a 69-year-old retired fruit packer, had been playing California’s “Mega Millions” lottery for years when she saw her winning numbers published in the newspaper on July 14. After screaming, praying and gathering her relatives together, Betancourt vowed that the first thing she would do is fix her leaky roof. 

The mix-up was discovered when her son went to a nearby liquor store and learned that the wrong numbers had been printed. Apparently the newspaper had obtained its information from the state lottery’s website, which was late in refreshing its results that week.

Mike Firpo, a managing partner of ABC Supply in Fresno, heard about Betancourt’s lost fortune from his neighbor, Will Fleet, publisher of the Fresno Bee. ABC Supply agreed to provide materials for a reroofing job at Betancourt’s house, while Allstate Roofing is doing the work — a project valued at about $12,000.

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S.ELLIOTT says:
Sep-21-2011 03:38 pm

It would have been quite a
It would have been quite a good deed to have just tried and patch the roof well - these things are expensive. But to replace it, that's quite a heartfelt and moving response. Shame on the lottery as the poor woman could have had a heart attack. I would have.

R.RIDDLE says:
Sep-20-2011 03:54 pm

Kudos to ABC Supply, and
Kudos to ABC Supply, and Allstate Roofing for stepping up and helping out someone in need. Just goes to show how compassionate the roofing industry is in California. Ross Riddle South Coast Shingle Co. Long Beach, CA

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Feds issue final word on tainted drywall

BY Brae Canlen

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), in its final report on tainted drywall, has issued a set of updated recommendations that may lower the cost of remediation for some homeowners.

The updated remediation guidance is based on studies just completed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on potential long term corrosion effects of problem drywall on gas piping, fire sprinkler heads, and smoke alarms. 

The key finding is that none of the studies performed at NIST found corrosion associated with problem drywall that provided evidence of a substantial product safety hazard. Some smoke alarms and fire sprinkler heads showed small changes in performance due to accelerated corrosion, but these changes were generally within accepted industry standards, the report said. 

As a result, the CPSC and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) no longer recommend the removal of gas service piping or the replacement of glass bulb fire sprinkler heads in homes with problem drywall. This change may reduce the cost of remediation for many homes. However, both agencies recommend that these devices be inspected and tested to make sure they’re working properly. 

Other final guidance issued from the agencies call for the replacement of all  problem drywall; carbon monoxide (CO) alarms; electrical distribution components, including receptacles, switches and circuit breakers, but not necessarily wiring; and fusible-type fire sprinkler heads.

CPSC’s investigation into problem drywall, much of it imported fro China, began in early 2009. The inter-agency effort involved HUD, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as members of the Federal Interagency Task Force on Problem Drywall.

As part of the investigation, the CPSC requested that the CDC consider undertaking a comprehensive study of any possible long-term health effects. The agency also contracted with several highly-respected technical organizations, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Environmental Health & Engineering Inc. (EH&E), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), NIST, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to study possible health and safety issues connected to imported Chinese drywall.

In February 2011, CDC indicated that the best scientific evidence available at that time did not support undertaking a long-term health study. Another study that was conducted by the USGS found no evidence of microbiological activity or a microbiological source of sulfur-gas emissions from gypsum rock or problem drywall, including samples taken from affected homes. These results were just released on Sept. 15. 

To date, CPSC has received 3,905 reports from residents of 42 states and the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico, who believe their health symptoms or the corrosion of certain metal components in their homes are related to problem drywall. CPSC believes there may be as many as 6,300 U.S. homes with problem drywall.

 

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k.lol says:
Feb-14-2012 02:52 pm

My main concern is how will
My main concern is how will people be able to pay the fee or manage to get a private health insurance if they belong to the category of low incomers or, even worse, if they don`t even have a job at all. I assume that health care is strongly related to some some economic fields that dictate the wealth average level of the population. I agree that they won`t necessarily guarantee full coverage on non 12 step rehab assistance, since this is not a vital need of healthcare, but they must grant at least some basic services. Because we must be reasonable and admit the distinctions between basic healthcare needs and effective private wellness services.

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